Valentine's Day is a strange holiday. Rather than a simple "I do celebrate" or "I don't celebrate," it becomes a minor symbol of who many people are, and a person's enjoyment or loathing of the holiday is often defined by their past experiences and appreciation (or lack of appreciation) of the symbolism or commercialism surrounding the day.

In our household our celebration of Valentine's Day has evolved significantly over the years. In the past I've both hit and significantly missed the mark when it comes to planning, meal selection, and gift giving on Valentine's Day, but this will be my 18th year celebrating with Wendy, so I'm bound to have had some highlights and lowlights along the way. Wow, 18 years, and to think how high I set that bar for our first Valentine's Day in high school when I sent a dozen roses to her during class (she went to a different school than I did). Boy did I ever set myself up for a series of lofty expectations. In retrospect, maybe I should have started with one rose that I gave her by hand.

In our tourist heavy neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria, both locals and visitors alike will flood the streets and massive selections of restaurants along and nearby King Street. With pricey prix fixe menus, overwhelmed wait staff and kitchens, and agitated patrons, frustrated by the crowds while attempting to appear lovey dovey, this is one night we now prefer to stay in and celebrate at home.

There's another couple in Alexandria that's also staying in this evening, but their affection for each other is still very much on display. The Old Town Lamas, obviously too famous (in our minds at least) to venture out of the house without being hounded by the paparazzi and tabloid magazine reporters, have set up on their perch this Valentine's Day, planting a very adorable kiss on one another. Their window is adorned with hearts and Valentine's Day messages. Obviously happy, it appears they're soul mates of the camelid variety.

Yes, it's the return of our favorite festively dressed window display duo to celebrate one of their favorite holidays. As you can see, the male llama has been putting a tremendous amount of time into mustache grooming, having perfected his curlicue handlebar. This old chap is definitely in top shape.

In his love note to his sweet, he cleverly incorporates his fine facial hair into his Valentine request.

"I mustache you a question, will you be my Valentine?" Personally, I can't help but recite this question without doing so in Sean Connery's voice.

I'm pretty sure the girl llama (oh how I wish we knew their names) accepted his Valentine's proposal and I expect they will remain in a loving lip lock throughout the day. Hey, they're llamas, what else are they going to be doing?

As for us, we started the day with a batch of Wendy's heart shaped pancakes. 

And we'll conclude our day by staying in this evening with a couple friends and embracing our DIY nature in creating our own Valentine's dinner (that's DIY right?). The boys will be cooking for the ladies and we'll hopefully have a successful culinary endeavor.

On the menu for the evening, we'll be starting with cheese, bruschetta, and a little sparkling wine. We'll follow that with a prawn, butternut squash, and Parmesan rigatoni with white wine pairing and yet-to-be-determined sides. And we'll finish the evening with an assortment of truffles and a dessert pairing of some sort. It should prove to be a pretty nice dinner. We'll see if us boys can pull it off.

In another note of love, we wanted to thank everyone who cast a vote for us in Apartment Therapy's 2013 Homies Awards. We're so thrilled to have made it to the finals, and although we didn't win, we're so touched that so many readers (and of course friends and family members too) took the time to say you like us, you really like us. A big congratulations to Jenny of Little Green Notebook, who pulled an Argo/Ben Affleck Golden Globes victory by sweeping both the "Best Home Projects & DIY" and "Best Home Design & Inspiration" categories. Our hats are off to her!

What will you be doing for Valentine's day? Are you a celebrator or an anti V-Day person? I know a few places in Old Town are having anti Valentine's dinners, complete with heavy garlic and onions. Whatever side you're on, know we're sending you Happy Valentine's (or Happy Anti-Valentine's) wishes from all of us at Old Town Home. 

Comments 5

Comments

Nicole Hayes
2/14/2013 at 2:23 PM
This has made my day. I love the llamas so much.
Nicole Hayes
2/14/2013 at 2:24 PM
I'm sure you know how much reading about the return of the llamas has brightened my day. What a PERFECT Valentine's Day celebration!
Old Town Home
2/14/2013 at 3:09 PM
We're so glad Nicole Hayes! We thought you might enjoy this update. :-)
Kelly
2/14/2013 at 3:27 PM
aw you guys should have really won DIY. you do incredible work and make very detailed and interesting posts. Without you I would not have found out about plaster screws, wireless outdoor speakers, abatron wood putty, sealing brick and so much more. sorry, but that contest just seems to be popular with twee hipster design things. you guys are like pros and your home is so beautiful and actaully live-able.
Alex
2/15/2013
Thanks, Kelly, we really appreciate the kind words. Rest assured we won't be changing our "formula" in an attempt to appeal to an audience that will put us on the twee hipster map. We like good old fashioned DIY where we sometimes do stuff wrong, sometimes do stuff right, but always try extremely hard and always put a lot of effort into making whatever we're doing the best we possibly can. Hopefully you'll be able to pick up more useful tips and tricks as we move along. Now we can move on, stop pandering for votes all day, and maybe get these damn storm windows done. :-)
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